Twenty-four official languages and more than 60 regional and minority languages constitute the fabric of the European Union’s linguistic landscape. However, language barriers still hamper communication and the free flow of information across the EU. Multilingualism is a key cultural cornerstone of Europe and signifies what it means to be and to feel European.
Many studies and resolutions, as noted in the recent European Parliament resolution “Language equality in the digital age”, have found a striking imbalance in terms of support through language technologies and issue a call to action. The ELE project answers this call and lays the foundations for a strategic agenda and roadmap for making digital language equality a reality in Europe by 2030.
The primary goal of ELE is to prepare the European Language Equality Programme, in the form of a strategic research, innovation and implementation agenda as well as a roadmap for achieving full digital language equality in Europe by 2030.
This programme will be prepared jointly with the whole European Language Technology, Computational Linguistics and language-centric AI community, as well as with representatives of relevant initiatives and associations, language communities and RML groups.
The consortium includes all relevant scientific and industrial stakeholders from all Member States and Associated Countries and engages them in the process. The whole community is included in the project through external consultation sessions. The project plan is fully optimised towards this key goal of preparing the strategic agenda and roadmap and of involving the whole European LT community. Ensuring appropriate technology support for all European languages will create jobs, growth and opportunities in the digital single market.
Equally crucial, overcoming language barriers in the digital environment is essential for an inclusive society and for providing unity in diversity for many years to come. The ELE project provides a roadmap and framework to achieve this.
LIBER participates by identifying and mapping the landscape of the European Language Equality project in 2020/2021. We do this by assessing the views, needs and vision of European research libraries as far as achieving digital language equality by 2030 is concerned and by engaging our community on the topic.
We will further contribute to desk research and collecting feedback for developing a Strategic Agenda and Roadmap. LIBER is further involved in communication, dissemination, exploitation, sustainability and project management activities of the project.